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The 2011 Cork City Marathon was launced this week - now is the time to plan ahead !
Ireland’s greatest track and field athlete, and our Chef de Mission for the 2012 London Olympics, Sonia O’Sullivan, swapped sunny Australia for wintery Cork this week to launch the 2011 Bord Gåis Energy Cork City Marathon. Organised by Cork City Council, with Bord Gáis Energy as the title sponsor, this year’s event sees two firsts: the introduction of an official half marathon and IAAF-certified measuring of the course.
Heading into its fifth year, the ‘marathon for everyone’ continues the tradition of being as open as possible with the addition of a half marathon for the first time. Combined with the existing relay race, it means more people than ever will take part in the event on the 6th June.
Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Michael O’Connell said the event has established itself as a major weekend in the Irish sports calendar. “The marathon, combined with the annual traditional rowing race, Ocean to City, taking place on Saturday the 4th of June, will see Cork become Ireland’s sporting capital for the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
The people of Cork have taken the race to their hearts and we’re looking forward to record entries and record support for 2011. With the addition of the half marathon, and the continuation of the 50% discount for those in receipt of benefit, the Cork City event is the most accessible in Ireland.”
John Mullins, Chief Executive of Bord Gáis said: “We’re delighted with the introduction of the half marathon in 2011. The marathon is all about volunteers, runners raising money for charities of their choice and people achieving personal ambitions. The day itself is a fantastic experience that gets bigger and better every year. It is also a tremendous boost for business in the region and showcases the city at its best to runners and their families from all over the globe.”
Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon Ambassador Sonia O’Sullivan said: "the event has improved and expanded every year since its re-introduction in 2007 after a 21-year lapse. IAAF certification is another major boost for the event and puts it firmly in the top bracket of marathons around the world. This will be my fourth return for the marathon. Last year I did fifteen miles of the course and even though the weather was at its worst, the experience was all the more memorable for it. I’m looking forward to running again in 2011 and encouraging others to join me in doing so.”
City Manager Tim Lucey said: “As a committed runner myself, I’m delighted that Cork City Council will again organise and host this event and that Bord Gáis Energy have continued as the title sponsor. I am particularly pleased with the continued growth of the City Marathon and with the introduction of a half marathon. The success of the race is down to the support of a number of partners, not least Bord Gáis Energy. We also rely on the support of the Athletics Association of Ireland, the Cork Business Houses Athletics Association, the Gardaí, the Defence Forces, the Health Services Executive and almost 400 volunteers on the day.
"It’s a day when people push themselves to the limit," continued Tim. "Having run the marathon in 2010, I experienced the tremendous support from the people of Cork, which makes a huge difference for the runners. As the event continues to grow, that support will be needed more than ever."